British Foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt has likened the European Union to the Soviet Union amid London’s struggle to exit the bloc.
Hunt called on Brussels during a Conservative conference Sunday not to “turn the EU club into a prison.”
He further censured EU leaders for turning their backs on the “confidence and ideals of the European dream.”
“What happened to the confidence and ideals of the European dream?” he asked. “The EU was set up to protect freedom. It was the Soviet Union that stopped people leaving.”
The European Union has said that parts of British Prime Minister Theresa May’s plan to exit the EU are unacceptable as many Conservative lawmakers are threatening to vote down a deal based on it.
“The lesson from history is clear: if you turn the EU club into a prison, the desire to get out won’t diminish, it will grow – and we won’t be the only prisoner that will want to escape,” Hunt said, further quoting former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher as saying, “We understand the EU wants to protect itself.”
The British government is under pressure over May’s so-called “Chequers” proposals otherwise known as hard Brexit.
“If the only way to deal with the UK leaving is to try to force its break-up, as someone much more distinguished than me once said, the answer is ‘No No No’,” Hunt said. “Let me say one more thing about these talks. Never mistake British politeness for British weakness because, if you put a country like Britain in a corner, we don’t crumble – we fight.”